Miami-Dade struggles to appease creditors in Coconut Grove Playhouse takeover bid

April 12, 2012 03:45PM

Mayor Carlos Gimenez and Coconut Grove Playhouse

Miami-Dade County’s push to take control of the Coconut Grove Playhouse has hit a roadblock, according to the Miami Herald, as a creditor rejected County Mayor Carlos Gimenez’s “lowball” offer. County commissioners agreed last year to try and pay off outstanding claims against the Playhouse board, so that they could revive the circa-1927 theater that’s been shuttered since 2006.

Aries Development Group said they have sunk more than $2 milion in to the theater in a redevelopment project it agreed to with the theater’s board. But Gimenez offered just $250,000 to settle the debt.

“We helped them when they were in trouble, and now they want to wash their hands of us,” said Aries principal Gino Falsetto.

But Aries claim is in dispute, as the theater’s board said it is owed rent by the firm, and the county is not counting a $1.28 million acquisition of adjacent property planned for the redevelopment as a debt it is responsible for settling.

Miami-Dade is angling to take control of the property, at 3500 Main Highway, to commission a $20 million renovation that would revive the dilapidated theater into a viable cultural institution, the Herald said. [Miami Herald]